Malaysia is currently emulating developed countries like Japan, Germany and America by giving emphasis to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) studies and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said the move to make STEM and TVET the main agenda of the country’s education was to produce more skilled personnel in technical professions.
“We also do not want to be left behind in ensuring that STEM and TVET are prioritised, with the latest statistics showing that 44 per cent of students in Malaysia made STEM fields their choice, and the government is aiming to increase this percentage to 60 per cent in the future,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was speaking at the launch of the National Technical Profession Day (HPTN) 2019 through a video recording here today.
He drew attention to developed countries which also stressed on innovation and producing the latest technologies, making them among the countries with the most number of registered patents globally.
Dr Mahathir said there are some Malaysians whose expertise in technical professions are recognised in the foreign countries where they work.
This, he said, was proven in the success of Petronas which is now operating throughout the world with staff who have mastered the knowledge and skills in technical areas of the oil and gas industry.
“This success will surely contribute to increasing the national revenue,” said the prime minister.
Dr Mahathir stressed that present-day global developments specifically the Industrial Revolution 4.0 or IR4.0 are based on the latest technologies which are aimed at creating an industrial, economic and living environment which is fast, intelligent and dynamic.
In view of this, he said, the country must ensure that its workers in the technical field are equipped with the latest skills through upgrades and up-scaling which are based on technological developments and the future needs of the industry.
“Our joint efforts will ensure that our dependability on foreign labour in technical areas can be controlled and reduced.
“We do not have a choice but to work more aggressively to take technical professions to a higher level,” Dr Mahathir said.